FanDuel - WFBC

August 31, 2006

Red Sox implosion: : Not as much fun as a Yankees breakdown would be. But it's a lot of fun. (From King Kaufman at Salon -- Just click through the damn ad!)

posted by holden to baseball at 05:03 PM - 79 comments

I hesitated to post this, considering the spate of NYY and BOS FPPs lately and the fact that this has a high potential to devolve into a shoutfest. But, I think Kaufman hits on something here that sums up how many of us non-Red Sox, non-Yankees fans feel about the Red Sox lately. I actually considered myself to be a bit of a Red Sox fan -- I was in law school in the Boston area from 1999-2002 and went to quite a few games (back when it was possible to get tickets) and was even not too bitter to see them win the World Series over my favorite team in 2004 (which I was fortunate enough to witness in person). But after the World Series win, I found myself liking them less and less, for reasons Kaufman explores in this article (the hatefulness of the Boston media, the morphing of some of their fans into "junior Yankees fans", etc.) and not just because they beat the Cardinals. I'm curious whether other flyover country folks or left coasters feel the same way.

posted by holden at 05:11 PM on August 31

Here's the thing. If the collapse had been based on bad playing or bad coaching, I wouldn't begrudge anyone the right to gloat about it. That is part of sports - we all enjoy seeing the teams we dislike collapse. That being said, this collapse was based on multiple players suffering especially bad injuries, a heart condition and (as of this week) a player potentially having cancer. I'm not sure how it is possible to feel good about that.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:26 PM on August 31

I agree, Joey Michaels, to beat your opponent, or rival, when he/they are playing their best, as a team or individually, is much more meaningful than if they are not at full speed for one reason or another. I know some will take satisfaction or glee out of the misfortunes that have befallen the Sox, but those types of fans are not knowledgeable, or sportsmanlike, in my opinion. And, the article is correct in that the Boston media is brutal, if I was a Boston player, I wouldn't read a damn thing being printed these days.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:42 PM on August 31

Mean spirited in light of David Ortiz's heart condition and Jon Lester possibly having cancer, no? If the team just fucking sucked with every regular player just mailing it in, it would be one thing, but when you drop cancer into any equation, shadenfraud isn't cool no matter how sick you are of the team or how much you hate the fans. Also, we needed a special thread just to stir up Red Sox bashing?

posted by jerseygirl at 05:56 PM on August 31

Joey Michaels, mjkredliner -- I agree that the schadenfreude or gloating is inappropriate certainly with respect to potentially life-threatening or career-threatening injuries or conditions (Lester and Ortiz, specifically) or for any injuries or health issues, for that matter. As to the other (non-Ortiz, non-Lester) injuries, some are particularly bad in that they are to key players (Varitek, certainly), but all that otherwise sets them apart is that they have come at a really bad time (in the thick of a divisional race) and in a huge bunch. Almost all of the contenders this year have dealt with injuries to key players -- the Yankees with Matsui and Sheffield (and now Mussina on the DL), the Mets with Pedro, Cliff Floyd and others, the Cardinals with Pujols, Mulder and Edmonds, the Twins with Liriano and Torii Hunter, the Dodgers with Kent, Gagne and Nomar, etc. The Red Sox just had the misfortune for those to happen at a very inopportune time and to a number of players at the same time. All of that said, I don't think gloating is the appropriate word for how I feel about the Red Sox -- so I guess I would draw that key distinction from the way Kaufman summarizes his feelings. I guess I would characterize the way I feel as just not being sad that the Red Sox have fallen out of it. (Just as I wouldn't be sad to see the Yankees fall out of it.) I certainly am not happy or gleeful for the specific misfortunes that have befallen their players.

posted by holden at 05:58 PM on August 31

Also, we needed a special thread just to stir up Red Sox bashing? I don't think we needed a thread just to stir up Red Sox bashing and that was not the intent here. Although I suppose you can make the point that this will inevitably lead to such bashing, I am hopeful we can have measured, intelligent conversation here. My point in posting this is not to kick a dog that is down but is because the non-Red Sox, non-Yankee fan point of view is largely lost in many of the Red Sox or Yankees discussions we have here and certainly in much of the media coverage of the two teams. I find it interesting that amongst myself and many in my peer group (folks in the Midwest or elsewhere who have no strong fan ties to one of the predominant east coast teams), the Red Sox went from very lovable to not so lovable in two short years. Irrespective of the performance of the Red Sox this year and whether anyone should be gloating about it, I find that an interesting phenomenon worthy of discussion.

posted by holden at 06:05 PM on August 31

Thanks for clarifying further, holden, and keeping the thread on track. For the record, I don't disagree with your point as far as the Red Sox losing whatever endearing qualities they had (to the greater masses) in 2004.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:23 PM on August 31

This isn't (or shouldn't be) a Sox troll thread, far as I can tell. Frankly, it is interesting as to how it is that a team so loved & pitied can, in terms of their national & international fan base, become the kind of team that invites so little pity when this kind of misfortune hits them, in such a short time. It's not the best-written piece Kaufman's ever done (and the end of it is a little too neener-neener about the Sox than maybe is appropriate, especially since he glosses over the whole David Ortiz situation), but if any of the 30,000 Boston sportswriters currently tearing at their chests and waiting for the Bruins & Celtics to report were to explore this phenomenon, say, by interviewing some people around the country during the Sox' next road trip, that could be a truly fascinating piece.

posted by chicobangs at 06:24 PM on August 31

I hesitated to post this, considering the spate of NYY and BOS FPPs lately and the fact that this has a high potential to devolve into a shoutfest. But, I think Kaufman hits on something here that sums up how many of us non-Red Sox, non-Yankees fans feel about the Red Sox lately. I actually considered myself to be a bit of a Red Sox fan -- I was in law school in the Boston area from 1999-2002 and went to quite a few games (back when it was possible to get tickets) and was even not too bitter to see them win the World Series over my favorite team in 2004 (which I was fortunate enough to witness in person). But after the World Series win, I found myself liking them less and less, for reasons Kaufman explores in this article (the hatefulness of the Boston media, the morphing of some of their fans into "junior Yankees fans", etc.) and not just because they beat the Cardinals. I'm curious whether other flyover country folks or left coasters feel the same way. posted by holden at 5:11 PM CDT on August 31 You are not a true fan!!!!!!!!!!! You can't have two favorite teams, maybe a team you hate less then the rest. I know that as a DIE hard GIANTS fan i hate the Angels for taking the 2002 World Series. I am not a bit of a fan because i have visited Disnyland a few times or have family there. Either you are a fan or not BOTTOMLINE

posted by Babyb at 06:29 PM on August 31

Babyb, this may be hard to believe, but "real fans," whatever that means, don't have a monopoly on the game. If they did, then there'd be eight fans at every game & no television at all, because no one else would measure up by the arbitrary and totally made-up standard of "real fandom," and so everyone else somehow wouldn't count. It's not up to you or anyone else to say who's more "real" and who isn't. Talk like that is what killed Tupac & Biggie. Bottom line.

posted by chicobangs at 06:35 PM on August 31

You are not a true fan!!!!!!!!!!! You can't have two favorite teams, maybe a team you hate less then the rest. I know that as a DIE hard GIANTS fan i hate the Angels for taking the 2002 World Series. I am not a bit of a fan because i have visited Disnyland a few times or have family there. Either you are a fan or not BOTTOMLINE Wow, BabyB. Perhaps you should take a look at the Sportsfilter Guidelines. Of particular interest might be the following: "No personal attacks. A good comment is respectful of members and their opinions. Address the argument, not the person making it." Now, I will give you credit for actually attempting to make an argument, but I will take issue with whether you did that in a respectful way. To address your argument, I find the "sports bigamy" line of thinking somewhat lame. We all have our favorite teams, but we all also have teams we kind of like. Hell, in any given college football game (and there are a lot), I typically end up rooting for one team or the other for reasons as varied as where I grew up, conference affiliation, whose coach I hate less or more, etc. Does that mean I'm not a true fan of the LSU Tigers (my favorite team)? In baseball, I personally don't think it's a sign of something less than a real fan to be a fan of one NL team and one AL team or to follow the local team while you live in a particular city even if you would never root for that team against your "true" hometown or childhood team.

posted by holden at 06:44 PM on August 31

I totally get where Kaufman and holden are coming from. I found myself pulling for the BoSox wholeheartedly back in 2004 and now I'm am simply not phased by their sudden downfall. I'm not the least bit reveling in the injuries they have incurred, god forbid, but I just haven't found myself sympathizing. I think part of the reason I was cheering for them during their WS stretch is because I'm a Cubs fan who knows all to well the feeling of pulling for a team that hasn't made it to the big show in a millenia. It somehow deep in the recesses of my imagination made me feel if they can do it then, by god, so can the Cubs. Now that magic has worn off and I find myself simply not caring about the Red Sox fortunes, either good or ill.

posted by willthrill72 at 06:48 PM on August 31

Interestingly, I feel myself pulling for the Tigers this year (and the White Sox last year) due to the undrdog phenomenon. Maybe this is something unique to baseball (but I don't think so), but I love watching teams that haven't won in years do well. Last years White Sox season was a joy (albeit not as much of a joy as seeing the Red Sox win the year before, but, hey, lifelong fan). I will be on the roof cheering if the Tigers make it to the WS, too. Now, since the Yankees and Braves had so much success in the 90's, it is much harder to get excited about either of them going to the post season. Indeed, it is hard for me to get excited about a White Sox repeat. But if you want to see me really go crazy apeshit excited, wait until the Cubs are back in the playoffs again. Oh, sure, it is years off, but I will be cheering my fool head off. Its just nice to see teams that have lost for a long time have their big win. Everyone wanted to see the Red Sox do it in 2004, but it stops being as interesting after they're just two years off of a big win. Finally, I've said it before, but in 2003 and 2004, every single team in every single sport I follow won their respective championship. My grandfather, who had been a Red Sox fan his entire life, got to see them win the series right before he died. I was blessed by the sports gods that year and if that means not seeing my teams win again for a while, I can live with that. (and thank you holden for clarifying your intent. I still feel Kaufman's article was a little mean spirited, but I don't think you are)

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:02 PM on August 31

Hey holden, my comments were not directed at you, either. Good points are made by you and the article.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:22 PM on August 31

If schadenfreude is inappropriate now -- and I'm not saying it ain't -- just remember that in the future. Because, guess what, when a team goes on the skids, it's rarely because the players and management just decided to start playing like a bunch of stiffs. Injuries are usually involved, other medical conditions are often involved (gee, how recently did jerseygirl post a sneer about Giambi's illness last year? has it been 24 hours?) and family tragedies are often involved. So if you don't like it when it's your team on the skids, be a little less gleeful when another team is down and out. Even if they're wearing pinstripes, get it?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:30 PM on August 31

You know I can't recall a single time I trashed the guy when they thought it was something really serious. This is going to be a constant with you and me, huh, LBB?

posted by jerseygirl at 07:52 PM on August 31

C'mon - EVERYBODY likes Big Papi. If you don't like Big Papi, well, you just don't like baseball. As a Jays fan, I am certainly hardly against seeing the Red Sox lose. God knows I'm used to seeing them win, and I don't think it's going out on a limb to suggest that these fans are spoiled (who wouldn't want to see the calibre of players the Yanks and Sox trot out there on a daily basis?) and that some of them take that for granted. But I'm also a hockeey fan in Toronto, so I know what's up. Being universally hated has a certain cache.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:08 PM on August 31

You know I can't recall a single time I trashed the guy when they thought it was something really serious. That's fine, but how would you feel if it turned out that "they" were wrong? Seems to me that's being overlooked some in this thread: a lot of this stuff is very clear in hindsight. When some folks were being critical of Manny a little more than a week ago and suggesting that he was doggin' it, there were Red Sox fans among them. Should they all be taken out back behind the barn and shot now? Well, whatever. Let's just remember the no-kicking-when-down rule when it's some other team on the outs, because as I said, when a team has done well and then hits the skids, it's rarely because they all just decided not to show up to work. This is going to be a constant with you and me, huh, LBB? Nothing like that. You provided a recent example, so I used it. It really wasn't about you, believe it or not.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:37 PM on August 31

I have realized how to come and get some cheap entertainment. All you need to do is come and read postings by people who don't have a life. I am not a Sox, Yanks or even a baseball fan. It is only a game. I now realize how many people live pathetic lives since they root for people being injured, sick, etc. It's only a game. Wake up and smell the roses.

posted by Bobbk at 08:42 PM on August 31

The latest: as the Globe puts it, "One David returns, another goes." I'd still say reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:54 PM on August 31

(gee, how recently did jerseygirl post a sneer about Giambi's illness last year? has it been 24 hours?) It really wasn't about you, believe it or not. Okay then. Seems as if you take exception to me, applying sentiments to me that didn't happen. Email's in the profile if there's anything else.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:00 PM on August 31

The fat lady was warming up in the last post. I think she is flat out singing now.

posted by dbt302 at 09:34 PM on August 31

I'll give Kaufman the benefit of the doubt regarding the health scares. Surely he's not that classless. But even on the normal injury front, I think it takes a special kind of fan to find enjoyment in that kind of thing. I get hoping the other team doesn't do well. I don't want to watch the yankees win the world series. I enjoy it when the sox beat the yankees. But if jeter and arod are hurt, it takes the fun out of it. It's not the same. Would 2004 be as sweet if rivera had been on the dl? Not a chance. I'm not actually even sure who kaufman is angry at. The hardcore sox fan and the media of boston has always been what it is. Bandwagon fans? Maybe they'll leave now. Fans who went 'along for the ride' because they felt bad for the sox, or were cub fans and could sympathize? It was nice knowing ya. But you weren't sox fans in the first place, and it's not surprising to see you move on. So what exactly makes kaufman so angry at the sox? Most of the comments here aren't in the same vein as his. Everyone (with the exception of lbb) is saying 'I feel bad for the medical scares but I don't feel sorry for the team'. I understand that. I get that. I understand completely when weedy says: As a Jays fan, I am certainly hardly against seeing the Red Sox lose. God knows I'm used to seeing them win, and I don't think it's going out on a limb to suggest that these fans are spoiled (who wouldn't want to see the calibre of players the Yanks and Sox trot out there on a daily basis?) and that some of them take that for granted. But that's not the anger that kaufman expresses. Kaufman set the stage for this article after the sox won the series. Now he's just completing the job. There's going to be a natural backlash to the sox after they got the monkey off their back. But I think the only thing that interviewing fans around the country, as chico suggested, will show is that the sox are a very popular team. Recently while playing the angels it sounded like fenway, and I think that tears kaufman up. As far as the writing, he might be a great writer. This piece wasn't it. Nothing I haven't heard before, and he took 2 pages to say what could have taken one paragraph. We have better columns at sportsfilter than this article. The article should have been one line: I hate the red sox. Injuries are usually involved, other medical conditions are often involved (gee, how recently did jerseygirl post a sneer about Giambi's illness last year? has it been 24 hours?) and family tragedies are often involved. No one's asking you to feel sorry for the sox. Every team has injuries. Part of the game. That said, if you're saying all teams go through what the sox are going through I'd love to see an example. 2 players in the hospital with potentially serious conditions, 2 players from the opening day roster on the field, one health player on the bench. We can make a deal. Sox fans can quit crying over the injuries if other fans can quit saying 'everyone team goes through the same thing', because it's simply false. I've never seen a season like this one, and I doubt I ever will again. llb, I'm kind of missing where you're going with this. You say jerseygirl ripped gimabi, but then you don't back it up. If it comes out the arod has cancer tomorrow, you really think anyone on sportsfilter will cheer? It seems to me you're basing your opinion on a strawman argument. If you can point out to me where sportsfilter members cheered yankee injuries/sickness, I'd love to see it. You seem to be saying 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander', but I don't quite see the goose.

posted by justgary at 10:35 PM on August 31

The lightbulbs at Busch weren't cold before Jim Litke suggested that the Red Sox victory had turned a franchise that was for so long synonymous with suffering and anguish, that had been classified among the "loveable losers," into "just another baseball franchise... backed by deep-pocketed owners willing to do whatever it takes to win a World Series. They are like the Florida Marlins the first time they won a title, or the New York Yankees -- except the Red Sox have won 20 fewer of those." Kaufman's article is just an extension of a two-year realization that the Red Sox victory took the gloss off their painfully romanticized mystique. Sports fans (yes, even the most casual) watched the Red Sox like a horror film when you know what's behind the door, but the poor sucker on the screen doesn't. When the Sox won it was panel one: Lucy holds the football; panel two: Charlie Brown streaks toward the ball; panel three: Charlie Brown kicks the football. It was foreign, unexpected, and momentarily celebrational. But ultimately it changed the public perception of the team. This article hardly breaks that news. Now it's like the real died-in-the-wool Red Sox fans, having focused all their attention so hard for so long on getting their team over the hump, have turned around and discovered with disdain that the rest of the sports world was behind them watching along. And the result is a not-so-mutual parting of ways. I think that's where Kaufman's anger comes from. The hardcore Red Sox fans hadn't realized that he had crashed their party, and when they did they pretty much kicked him to the curb. Which was totally their right. Their years of agony were not intended for public entertainment. They were not for the delight of passers-by peeking in their windows out of morbid curiosity. Chicobangs is certainly right when he says there are no rules to fandom, but Babyb's comment is a good example of the kind of die-hard culture that is separating itself from within Red Sox Nation. You don't get to be in the club just because your brand new cap has a "B" on it anymore. And in return, the Red Sox fans can forget the sympathetic head shakes when things go sour. This new core of Red Sox fans is still plenty big enough to stand on its own, but now they must suffer the slings and arrows that come when champions get pulled back down off the mountain. We have better columns at sportsfilter than this article. You say that like you don't expect the columns to be better than other articles... If it comes out the arod has cancer tomorrow, you really think anyone on sportsfilter will cheer? No, but I think it would be a piece of life-threatening irony.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:06 AM on September 01

This new core of Red Sox fans is still plenty big enough to stand on its own, but now they must suffer the slings and arrows that come when champions get pulled back down off the mountain. yep x1000. as a lakers fan, i can empathize. as a dodgers fan, i can revel in it. if you're saying all teams go through what the sox are going through I'd love to see an example. 2 players in the hospital with potentially serious conditions, 2 players from the opening day roster on the field, one health player on the bench. We can make a deal. Sox fans can quit crying over the injuries if other fans can quit saying 'everyone team goes through the same thing', because it's simply false. I've never seen a season like this one, and I doubt I ever will again. let's not get histrionic. Here are some numbers I found from baseballprospectus on the Dodgers in 2005, when it seemed to me like the sky was, in fact, falling. Days Lost to DL: 1357 Dollars Lost to DL: $36,695,101.85 % Payroll Lost to DL: 45.29% Fast forward to 2006 where LA has lost its best pitcher again (gagne), lost nomar and kent for 1/4 of the season, had bill mueller for 30 games before he was lost for the season, lost the setup man/closer heir apparent for the season april 12th (brazoban)... etc. etc. everyone really does go through the same thing. consider yourselves lucky that the injury bug hasn't hit your team hard until this year.

posted by ninjavshippo at 03:37 AM on September 01

This new core of Red Sox fans is still plenty big enough to stand on its own, but now they must suffer the slings and arrows that come when champions get pulled back down off the mountain. That reads beautifully, yet I have no idea what it means. Are you saying sox fans have to take 'slings and arrows' from other fans? That's not hard, and is occasionally fun. Losing in 03, that was hard. Reading this rant/article? Not so hard. New core of boston fans? I had no idea we had a new core. let's not get histrionic. Those are all facts. You're comparing apples with oranges (number of days lost vs. number of injuries at once during a critical time of the season). Have I ever seen a team go from the lineup the sox had a month ago to the lineup they put on the field a couple of days ago? Nope, and I've seen a lot of baseball. Nothing to do with histrionics. everyone really does go through the same thing. consider yourselves lucky that the injury bug hasn't hit your team hard until this year. I'll refrain from arguing any longer about who has the most injuries. If you believe that having only two starters from opening day along with 3 guys who were in the minors a week ago during a playoff run happens frequently in baseball, so be it. My point was that gloating over a team losing (which I have no problem with), imho, loses it's luster when the team you're beating no longer even resembles the team you were originally playing. I'm sure some fans don't give a damn, I think most do. Then again, you have a list of teams you root against, while I don't really care one way or another if the sox don't win. So maybe we're just coming at sports from a different perspective.

posted by justgary at 04:33 AM on September 01

llb, I'm kind of missing where you're going with this. Her point is to turn this into a line of reasoning wherein no one can bash the Yankees ever again. And I find that awesome lbb, because you spent the 15 minutes I was in the Spofi Campfire for the Sox/ Yankees rain-delayed tilt trashing every member of the team except for your one or two personal heroes. And then yesterday you trashed David Wells. And you don't know the players on the Yankees who aren't All Star starters. So please stop posturing. In regards to Red Sox hating, go for it. I hate the fucking fans too and I'll be happy to take a couple of years on the beach to see the farm system blossom while we cull the bandwagon riders. The Sox are the #2 payroll team in the league and will be most years. Hate away. We're a region of elitist pricks, we have sleeper cells in your towns waiting to show up and drown out your cheers in your home ballpark and we are just plain mean. I can't recommend us either. On top of all that, we've been in the playoffs like 6 out of the last 7 years or something. It's gross and unseemly and other fans should get a turn. Having said that, I hope the Pats keep winning Superbowls year after year because fans of opposing football teams aren't quite so literate or able to carry on an unbiased conversation.

posted by yerfatma at 07:12 AM on September 01

Now, there's some trash talk we can sink our teeth into!

posted by mjkredliner at 07:42 AM on September 01

The Red Sox imploded before Ortiz's heart condition and Lester's swollen lymph nodes. If they imploded following Ortiz's heart condition, then enjoying their implosion would be mean-spirited. And, sure they have had lots of injuries, but injuries are a part of sports. Some teams win in spite of the injuries. The Marlins are freakin' winning after selling off half the team last year. The Red Sox have a chance of winning every time they go out there, the same as everyone else. They just aren't getting it done. All the other stuff is just excuses. So, I guess you can count me as one of the fans that could care less if the other team has injuries, so it long as it results in a "W" for my team.

posted by bperk at 08:02 AM on September 01

Her point is to turn this into a line of reasoning wherein no one can bash the Yankees ever again. Like that would ever happen! The Yankees will always be bashed, the Red Sox will always be bashed, and nothing anyone will ever say will change that. Say what you want about Red Sox/Yankees threads, and all the "Do we need another one" questions, but there's no subject that stirs up this much emotion, currently, in sports. With all that said, I consider myself a Yankee fan, but a baseball fan first and foremost. I appreciate Papi, Manny, Schilling, etc., but I honestly think the team the Sox put on the field this year, outside of those three and a few others (Varitek, Papelbon, to name a few) was inferior. It was in no way even close to the caliber of the team that won the Series a few years back. I remember thinking that the first day of the season, how their lineup was not really imposing at all, outside of the 3 and 4 hitter. You can't send off guys like Damon and Millar, for example, and think you can replace them with just anyone. They were "Heart and Soul" type guys in lineups, much like Brosius and O'Neil were when the Yanks were having their greatest success. Sure, Damon could have stayed with the team, but the Sox should have taken the steps to ensure he did stay. You don't just replace what Damon brings to the table with Coco Crisp! Every Sox fan knew the team would struggle to compete if Manny and Ortiz weren't 100 percent, because they drive that entire team. The Yankees were fortunate this season the players they plugged in when Matsui, Sheffield, and Cano went down all played extremely well, rallying around each other when things were tough, especially with all the criticism involving A-Rod and Randy Johnson. This past hockey season, following the Buffalo Sabres, changed my perspective on injuries. I was bitter after the Carolina series because I felt Buffalo would have won if they hadn't been missing four defensemen. But when I finally was willing to look at it realistically, I came to grips with the fact injuries ARE sports. Every successful team is either very lucky when it comes to avoiding devastating injuries throughout a season or they have guys who step up and help the team continue winning.

posted by dyams at 08:04 AM on September 01

Fatty - you just made me like Red Sox fans more. Wicked. Bring it. BPP - I don't know if I could agree more or write it down better. (Actually, the answer to both those questions is no.) How did this, of all FPPs, manage to generate a great baseball culture conversation? In closing: Yankees suck, Knicks suck, Jets suck. Krypton sucks.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:08 AM on September 01

I appreciate Papi, Manny, Schilling, etc., but I honestly think the team the Sox put on the field this year, outside of those three and a few others (Varitek, Papelbon, to name a few) was inferior. This is also very true. I liked the Beckett deal when it went down, but from day one it was possible that this team didn't have much depth and had suspect pitching.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:10 AM on September 01

Hate away. We're a region of elitist pricks, we have sleeper cells in your towns waiting to show up and drown out your cheers in your home ballpark and we are just plain mean. I can't recommend us either. On top of all that, we've been in the playoffs like 6 out of the last 7 years or something. It's gross and unseemly and other fans should get a turn. That was beautiful.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:31 AM on September 01

The Marlins are freakin' winning after selling off half the team last year. And with Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez from the Beckett deal. Which burns. I can cope with giving up Freddy Sanchez for nothing because I think he's a B level player, but those two worry me. dyams, I agree with what you said. This looked like a rebuilding year, felt like a rebuilding year (ok, not exactly rebuilding when you're in first for a long time) and it wound up one. The only thing different is the Sox didn't feel comfortable calling it that.

posted by yerfatma at 08:33 AM on September 01

Of course it's easy to hate success. Humans have been doing it for centuries. Not to get religion into the picture, but aren't there a lot of Old Testament stories that center on jealousy? (I say that strictly as an historical comment, not a promotion of religion) When the Red Sox, or any other regional team show themselves to be anything less than perfect, the Boston media, the Globe and the Herald in particular, are all over it. It's nothing new. Just look at how the Boston print media treated Ted Williams. So go ahead and feel good, Kaufman. All it means is that you really suffer from envy. If you were to talk about an NFL team that made the playoffs on a nearly annual basis, got to the Super Bowl with some regularity, and finally won one, you would be talking about a highly successful organization. I know the rules are different, salary cap structure and collective bargaining agreements being the chief differentiators, but I didn't hear too many people trashing the Cowboys when they followed championships with down years. Yes, some gloated, but was it not because we envied them?

posted by Howard_T at 08:54 AM on September 01

How did this, of all FPPs, manage to generate a great baseball culture conversation? No doubt! I avoided this thread, for the exact reason holden listed in the first comment. Boy, was I wrong. BPP and YFM just put up two of my favorite ever posts. An outsiders' opinion... I don't really don't have a rooting interest in the NYY/BOS rivalry, I enjoy the games as much as anyother division leader rivalry, but the build-up nauseates me. And I have to admit I'm one of those window-peekers BPP referenced. I listened to The DKM's "Nellie" and got goosebumps, I thoroughly enjoyed the bloody sock. But then I learned all the hangers-on, the folks that only liked them because they were the loveable loser, were even more annoying after they won. So maybe deep down, theres a little feeling of satisfaction that Boston's won't be in the playoffs, but to be honest I'd much rather enjoy the Tigers or the we-don't-want-it-you-take-it N-L Wildcard race, or the damn-you-Girardi-why-are-you-winning Marlins. This Kaufman character really irritates me for some reason. Maybe it's just that sketch they have of him, with the 90s goatee and the chest hair. Or maybe it's anyone who calls themselves King.

posted by SummersEve at 08:59 AM on September 01

For the record, I've started rethinking my pick of an EPL team and am in search of a group that can give me the Sox feeling about 40 years from now after a lot of misery.

posted by yerfatma at 09:04 AM on September 01

I just spent a minute thinking "Who the fuck is Nellie?" Tessie. Too funny. Tessie, Nellie, whatever!

posted by jerseygirl at 09:08 AM on September 01

Holy cow, I'm a dumbass. Yes, Tessie. Her friends call her Nellie? Maybe? Oh my, I'm so embarrassed. Where the hell did Nellie come from?

posted by SummersEve at 09:20 AM on September 01

WOW!!!

posted by Debo270 at 09:22 AM on September 01

Where the hell did Nellie come from? Keith Jackson

posted by willthrill72 at 10:25 AM on September 01

I'm having a hard time even watching the Sox play these days. It makes me so sad to see my team falling apart before my eyes. These guys are basically still kids, and they're having to deal with heart problems and cancer--what the fuck?

posted by jenny at 11:01 AM on September 01

That reads beautifully, yet I have no idea what it means. You should know by now that that describes just about everything I write. Except for the "beautiful" part. Are you saying sox fans have to take 'slings and arrows' from other fans? That's not hard, and is occasionally fun. Losing in 03, that was hard. Reading this rant/article? Not so hard. Yes, that's what I'm saying. I didn't say it had to be hard. The bandwagon fans are turning on the Red Sox because they're not welcome. That's where the article is coming from. You don't have to hate it, and you don't have to like it. It is what it is. New core of boston fans? I had no idea we had a new core. You're absolutely right. I was wrong to say "new." I should have just said "this core." It just seems new because it isn't wrapped in fluff anymore. Which is a good thing.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:19 AM on September 01

Shaughnessy's column today says that the Wells trade is an implied writeoff of '06. Thoughts? (and before someone decides to take my head off, yeah, I know about Shaughnessy, and no, I'm not gloating. It's just that he said it, and my question is, is he right that the Wells move was part of a conscious write-off strategy.)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:06 PM on September 01

And, sure they have had lots of injuries, but injuries are a part of sports. Some teams win in spite of the injuries. You're right. They're part of the game, which is why when discussing a teams fate team health definitely shouldn't be ignored. To say 'every team has injuries, some overcome them' sounds great and makes little sense. There is a point where injuries simply become too great. So when the season ends and sports illustrated does their season recap injuries will be a big part of the sox season. Because, as you said, it's part of the game. Discussing a very big part of the game isn't the same as making excuses. but I honestly think the team the Sox put on the field this year, outside of those three and a few others (Varitek, Papelbon, to name a few) was inferior. But that was the beauty of it. The sox had a lead over the yankees all the way to the allstar game (with bad pitching), and yankee fans just couldn't understand it. I constantly read yankee fans gripe that the sox lineup was inferior to their lineup, so it must be luck. How could they possibly be in first? I really don't think fans who put lineups side by side and are bewildered when the more talented team (on face value) loses understand baseball. It just doesn't work that way. All it takes is one well pitched game (even by 75 year old david wells) and an allstar lineup can look very ordinary. Would they have been able to hold it? Come back after the 5 game loss? Who knows. But it would have been interesting. A little more pitching and they definitely had a chance. The Yankees were fortunate this season the players they plugged in when Matsui, Sheffield, and Cano went down all played extremely well, No they weren't. The yankees simply had enough talent to overcome their own share of injuries. Here you go. The bandwagon fans are turning on the Red Sox because they're not welcome. That's where the article is coming from. I guess I just have a different definition of a bandwagon fan. Kaufman just seems like someone who watched a great story from the outside, and after, wishes the star of the story would just go away. The fans who, now that the sox appear to be out of it, are selling their tickets and throwing their sox hats in the closet, are imho bandwagon fans.

posted by justgary at 12:14 PM on September 01

the Wells trade is an implied writeoff of '06. Thoughts? Thought: the CHB is a genius. See the citation in my comment above; some of the Red Sox brass saw this year as a rebuilding one all along.

posted by yerfatma at 12:38 PM on September 01

There's another reason for the delight in the Red Sox crash and burn. Boston is a city of haters. Nasty, bitter, unhappy people. A city with a collective chip on its shoulder that hates anyone or anything that's different. The city's motto is "Yankees Suck". Seriously, take a look at around Fanieul Hall or any T-shirt emporium and you will see 25 different varieties of Yankees Suck and NY Sucks T-shirts. Do you think Yankee fans even spend 1% of the time hating on Boston as much Boston spends hating on the Yankees. I spent several years living in Boston. I arrived as a Celtics fan. I left hating every team from the New England area with a passion. Maybe one too many articles about the punks from NY in the Globe or my car getting egged because it had NY plates. If the Sox (or any of the New England teams) played the Iranian all stars, I would have a tough time figuring out who to root for. On second thought, no I wouldn't. GO IRAN!

posted by cjets at 12:52 PM on September 01

An addendum: I am NOT a Yankees Fan. I'm a Mets fan. And 1986 was like God defeating Satan.

posted by cjets at 12:53 PM on September 01

I am NOT a Yankees Fan Maybe so, it's a redeeming quality, but what you are assuredly is a hater.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:00 PM on September 01

the Wells trade is an implied writeoff of '06. Thoughts? One of my friends pointed out, in his blog, that the Sox need pitching now, but need it even more desperately for next year. I think trading Wells is a good strategic move and I agree that it is a sign that the brass has written off '06 - not that they wouldn't be thrilled to be proven wrong.

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:04 PM on September 01

Do you think Yankee fans even spend 1% of the time hating on Boston as much Boston spends hating on the Yankees. I could go to yankee fan sites and for the rest of the day fill this post with hateful comments on the red sox. You might have been right before 2004. Not anymore. Come join us in the present. Hell, you're exactly what you claim to hate.

posted by justgary at 01:07 PM on September 01

Boston is a city of haters. Nasty, bitter, unhappy people. The city's motto is "Yankees Suck". Puleeze. That phrase was a defense mechanism to the Yankees and their fans always being able to point out the World Series thing. Most people are trying to distance themselves from that and pointing out T-shirt vendors in an around Faneuil Hall shows that it may be more of a tourist thing. AND YES, Yankee fans spend at least 1% of the time hating on the Red Sox, the trolls in these tthreads speak to that. Plus, your God/Satan comment doesn't fall far from the tree, despite the fact you like the team across town. There are knucklehead fans in every city, you may qualify. Previously jumping into a Clemens thread and screaming steroids would my first piece of evidence to the jury. btw, if anyone wants a clever, good-natured Red Sox shirt, this is the one. If I could print up shirts that said TESSIE SUCKS, I would. Dirty Water is where it's at.

posted by YukonGold at 01:10 PM on September 01

cjets Please refrain sullying my good name.

posted by HATER 187 at 01:11 PM on September 01

The Phillies brass wrote off '06 (and '07) and look how well that's worked out for them. They very well may have written off this year, but let's say they didn't... Would David Wells at this stage in his career have been much help? Cjets: I was up at Yankee Stadium last month. There were a TON of anti-Red Sox t-shirts. I found it odd how many people were wearing them especially since they were playing the Angels.

posted by SummersEve at 01:17 PM on September 01

As for the article... What's his point? He enjoyed being on the bandwagon in 2004, but now that they won he's off? That's point of being on a bandwagon!!! For one game, two weeks, a month you can revel in the success of a team you otherwise could care two shits about. It's also quite possible him and everyone else who road that flatcar in 2004 are all on this current bandwagon of let's laugh at that team that once made me cry...there'll be someone else who's guaranteed to win it this year and in 30 days I can jump on there. The Yankees North comment is what it is. That division has it's challenges and it's not changing, spending money is one solution it, but look at Weedy's Jays. The owned up and spent some money this off-season. Real money for really good players. It didn't work though. So what's J.P. gonna do this year? Spend more? Get more players? The AL East is like being a kid on the outside in high school. Eventually, the peer pressure is gonna get to you. In trying to play with the kids at the top of the chain, you may find yourself doing things you didn't in the past.

posted by YukonGold at 01:31 PM on September 01

it was mets fans like cjet that prompted me to root for boston in 1986.

posted by goddam at 01:41 PM on September 01

No they weren't. The yankees simply had enough talent to overcome their own share of injuries. Here you go. Since the conversation in that thread moved toward Lester's serious medical condition -- and the whole Yankee subject was off-topic to being with -- I took my rebuttal to Grum's comment to e-mail. But, since you brought it up... A vast majority of the players Grum listed under "terrible" had no role whatsoever filling in for injured players. Stinnett, Phillips and Crosby -- terrible numbers, never filled-in for an extended stretch for an injured player, aren't even on the roster anymore. Green -- terrible numbers, never filled-in for an extended stretch. Torre has a distinction between those who qualify as "backups" and those who qualify as "fill-ins." These guys are the former, not the latter. Matsui was replaced by Cabrera who, by any measure, is not terrible and has played very well. Sheffield was replaced by a rotation of players: Bernie (respectable), Thompson (good -- not given a reasonable chance for some reason), Long (terrible, discarded almost immediately), Guiel (whom Grum admitted himself was good-to-great). Now, of course, Abreu. Cano was replaced primarily by Cairo, who, despite a very bad OPS, put up 11 runs, 13 RBIs and 5 SBs in 30 games in the 8/9 slot while Cano was out. He was Juan Uribe with speed instead of power, and he played a very respectable 2B. Not great, no. Below average, certainly. But he's the only argument you can make for a dead spot in the lineup from the injuries. Yes, the Yankees seven regulars were probably good enough to lug the rest of the team through the season. The point is, they didn't have to. The long-term replacements did a pretty good job of filling in the blanks.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:42 PM on September 01

Bullpenpro, even if I agree with you, and thank you for explaining the yankee situation to me, I still stand by the statement you quoted. The long term replacements filled in the blanks, and did a good job. Fine. Those replacements would help very little in boston. This statement: The Yankees were fortunate this season the players they plugged in when Matsui, Sheffield, and Cano went down all played extremely well is misleading when that person is comparing it to the sox situation. You could say it's the sox problem for putting the team on two players shoulders, or you could say the sox should spend more money, but those are different topics. Basically, I'm not trying to put down the yankee replacements. They did a great job in the situation they were put in. It's just a different situation.

posted by justgary at 02:08 PM on September 01

it was mets fans like cjet that prompted me to root for boston in 1986. Two words for you, GD, Bill Buckner. For those of you who might want to bother re-reading my original post, the point I was making was that I arrived in Boston ready to wear the green and wallow in Bird mania. What I found was a city that lives for hating NY. I could go to yankee fan sites and for the rest of the day fill this post with hateful comments on the red sox. You might have been right before 2004. Justgary, I don't visit Yankee fan sites. I'm not talking about rabid red sox or Yankee fans. Again, my point is that the ordinary bostonian HATES NY. The ordinary New Yorker could give a sh*t about Boston. Am I hater when it comes to Boston? Definitely. When you live somewhere for five years and the populace thinks your F'ing scum for being a New Yorker (let's not even get into the anti-semitic thing), you start to hate back. And for those of you brainiacs commenting, how many of you have actually lived in Boston? Try it for 6 months and then tell me what it's like.

posted by cjets at 04:29 PM on September 01

Previously jumping into a Clemens thread and screaming steroids would my first piece of evidence to the jury. Look at the size of Clemen's head in 1986. And look at the size of his head now. Isn't that what everyone carries on about with Bonds and Giambi. I think the MLB doesn't want to go after guys like Clemens. Is that not relevant to a Clemens thread, Yukon? Is there some etiquette about posting that I've missed? Next time I'll be sure to check with you before I post.

posted by cjets at 04:33 PM on September 01

When you live somewhere for five years and the populace thinks your F'ing scum for being a New Yorker (let's not even get into the anti-semitic thing), you start to hate back. Too long a struggle makes a stone of the heart, that sort of thing? A bit melodramatic. I think everyone's reacting to your tone, which sounds like, "I went to Boston expecting to be welcomed with open arms, but it turned out to be a big city and I wasn't a unique snowflake." On top of that, you're coming off quite the whiner (e.g., the Buckner comment). I take issue with the idea Boston is any more anti-Semitic than any other big city. The Brahmin populace is far too busy hating the Irish and Italians, who are far too busy hating the blacks. Who maybe have something against the folks in JP. Except that was 1970 and it's 2006.

posted by yerfatma at 04:43 PM on September 01

Is there some etiquette about posting that I've missed? Now that you mention it, be sure to check out the guidelines. They're new and will be of interest to you in regards to thinly veiled "Not discussing religion, but am bringing it up anyway" unrelated to anything of the topic rant you went on. Also, born and raised Bostonian, ovah here.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:00 PM on September 01

Wells trade is an implied writeoff of '06. Thoughts? I'll tell you what, lbb. In the pit of my stomach I have this weird hugely irrational, completely nonsensical, goes-against everything-I-know-as-fact feeling that somehow between now and the end of September, with a bunch of the regular vets returning in the next week (Varitek, Wakefield, Trot) and Ortiz returning tomorrow plus another weekend series with the Yankees... they're going to string some wins together. No no, stay with me. Stop laughing, dammit. No, I'm not on medication for delusions. They're going to string some wins together. Maybe gain a little ground in either the AL East or the WC... They won't get close enough, but they'll make it interesting, dare I say hopeful, for the fans and then likely hugely crash and burn. There you go. Optimism and pessimism in the very same string of thought.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:13 PM on September 01

Too long a struggle makes a stone of the heart, that sort of thing? A bit melodramatic. I think everyone's reacting to your tone, which sounds like, "I went to Boston expecting to be welcomed with open arms, but it turned out to be a big city and I wasn't a unique snowflake." My mistake then, yerfatma, because that was not at all the point I was trying to make. The point is (not trying to beat a dead horse) that I when I moved to Boston I was a Celtics fan. Iwanted to root for them (if you remember the Knicks back then, there was nothing to root for). And was immediately put off by the anti-NY bias. I didn't expect to be welcomed with anything, I just didn't expect to be hated simply because I'm from NY. The thread started as a discussion on why people love to see the Red Sox fall. This was just my opinion, having lived there for several years. On top of that, you're coming off quite the whiner (e.g., the Buckner comment). GD says that Met fans like me were the reason he rooted for the Red Sox in 86. What did you expect me to say? Thank you? BB is an obvious (if overused, I'll grant you) comeback. Maybe Bob Stanley would have been better.

posted by cjets at 05:41 PM on September 01

I'll tell you what, lbb. In the pit of my stomach I have this weird hugely irrational, completely nonsensical, goes-against everything-I-know-as-fact feeling that somehow between now and the end of September, with a bunch of the regular vets returning in the next week (Varitek, Wakefield, Trot) and Ortiz returning tomorrow plus another weekend series with the Yankees... they're going to string some wins together. No no, stay with me. Stop laughing, dammit. No, I'm not on medication for delusions. I'm not laughing even a little bit. I seem to be about the only person who hasn't completely counted them out. Yes, they have one hell of a hill to climb, but more improbable things have happened in the history of baseball. I was not one of those who talked about fat ladies and next year. About writing off '06, I do think that management has pretty much consciously decided that they're going to sacrifice this year insofar as doing so will help next year. If they can pick up wins, they will; if they can get in the playoffs, they will, but not at the expense of next year. It's a courageous move because public opinion would be outraged at a blunt admission of same. They're going to string some wins together. Maybe gain a little ground in either the AL East or the WC... They won't get close enough, but they'll make it interesting, dare I say hopeful, for the fans and then likely hugely crash and burn. I'll count them out when they're mathematically eliminated. At the same time, I feel that the Yankees -- and, for that matter, anyone else who would win the east -- should almost be focusing more on central than on their east opponents now.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:47 PM on September 01

And was immediately put off by the anti-NY bias. I didn't expect to be welcomed with anything, I just didn't expect to be hated simply because I'm from NY. The thread started as a discussion on why people love to see the Red Sox fall. This was just my opinion, having lived there for several years. I had a different experience. I lived there for twelve years -- in the Fens, at that -- and never experienced being "hated simply because I'm from NY" (I am, upstate, and a lifelong Yankee fan). I still spend a lot of time in Boston (I work for a Boston-based company and am in Boston 3 days a week). It may have been different eras, different crowds, or it may just have been that when I lived there, I wasn't all about being from New York. I was there to live in Boston, which ddn't mean that I'd necessarily adopt every local taste, preference and prejudice, but I had no intention of living in place and being all about where I'd come from rather than where I was. I really enjoyed my time there, and it remains my favorite city. With that said, I do somewhat share your sense of having been taken aback at the quantity and quality of the hatin'. Shirts like "Yankees Suck" and "Jeter Sucks"...I saw that stuff and thought, "Damn, what is wrong with these people?" And while it's possible that that has largely moved off Yawkey Way (I haven't been there on a game day in a couple of years, and there was some suggestion a year or two ago from Red Sox management that they didn't look on such shirts with favor), I still found it...well, indicative of something...that the shirts appeared in the first place. But I don't think it's something about Boston per se. No single-team sports rivalry defines a city.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:57 PM on September 01

GD says that Met fans like me were the reason he rooted for the Red Sox in 86. What did you expect me to say? Thank you? BB is an obvious (if overused, I'll grant you) comeback. Maybe Bob Stanley would have been better. if you bothered to read my profile you'd find that i'm not a "he" and i'm a yankee fan. so i really couldn't care less about buckner or stanley. i was just so put off by my 6th grade classmates who jumped on the mets bandwagon and said mean things about don mattingly that i rooted for boston. as summerseve mentioned before, there are plenty of anti-boston shirts going around here (they even have brand new boston massacre shirts this week). there's also a bunch of anti-mets shirts and there used be anti-baltimore shirts too, back when they were good. so boston doesn't have a monopoly on the hatin'. i just think it may not be as noticable in the city itself because all of new york doesn't get caught up in its sports teams like boston seems to. with 2 baseball teams, 3 hockey teams, 2 football teams, and 2 basketball teams in the tri-state area there are too many of them for that to happen. the hatred just seems to be concentrated on river ave and various places on the interweb. i just read that lester has a form of lymphoma. it sounds like it's treatable. cancer sucks when anyone gets it, let alone a 22 year old. hopefully he'll make a full recovery.

posted by goddam at 11:56 PM on September 01

Yeah, plus Papelbon left the game last night with a shoulder issue and Schilling will miss his next start due to a lat pull. The hits just keep on coming. Like jg, I don't doubt they'll cut one or both leads to manageable distances, but it's pointless; the team is not good enough. when I moved to Boston I was a Celtics fan. Iwanted to root for them (if you remember the Knicks back then, there was nothing to root for) Uhm, that's bandwagon jumping and picking a wagon just because your local team is in the crapper . . . no wonder you caught some flack.

posted by yerfatma at 07:16 AM on September 02

Next time I'll be sure to check with you before I post. No thanks, I'm all booked up with looking after a bunch of haters already.

posted by YukonGold at 09:14 AM on September 02

Lester is gonna have some of the best doctors in the coutry looking after him. I only hope the media can respect that this is a difficult thing for anyone, never mind some in the public eye...which I think they will. While they have an awful reputation for how they treat athletes in the back pages, I'm sure they'll be hoping for the best with everyone else. What a strange season, to say the least.

posted by YukonGold at 09:22 AM on September 02

Not to rub it in even worse.... but Papelbon was hurt pitching last night too...

posted by Kendall at 10:09 AM on September 02

Yeah thats what yerfatma said.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:46 AM on September 02

Lester is gonna have some of the best doctors in the coutry looking after him. Too bad the Sox tossed Bill Morgan over the side. He could have put some dead guy's lymph nodes into Lester.

posted by yerfatma at 01:57 PM on September 02

Yeah- I noticed that after I posted. I was about to post my comment with an article, but didnt find one- and totally forgot about it. Like 2 hours later, I posted it- and noticed that yerfatma already mentioned it. Anyways, good luck to Lester and those injured.

posted by Kendall at 01:59 PM on September 02

Also, born and raised Bostonian, ovah here. For real? I thought you were from New Joisey. Or maybe just a big Tom Waits fan.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:47 PM on September 02

I didn't expect to be welcomed with anything, I just didn't expect to be hated simply because I'm from NY. If it's any consolation, I don't hate you because you're from NY. I just hate you because you're an asshole.

posted by rocketman at 04:12 PM on September 02

Or maybe just a big Tom Waits fan. There you go.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:06 PM on September 02

rocketman, I love you long time.

posted by yerfatma at 10:18 PM on September 02

Devastating all around, but I've still got afterglow from '04. The first half of the season was great, and I appreciate it for the transitory rush it gave me. Now, I go to my happy place...Curt Schilling, throwing 125 mile per hour fastballs while his foot hangs in tatters from the shattered end of his leg, Big Papi striding to the plate with Wonderboy in his hands every time, Manny actually playing defense, running down balls and making it look easy, despite carrying 17 pounds more uniform material than anybody else on the field. Never before in baseball history... Ah, if they did sell off '06, I'm not going to blame them. My hope is that the boys are healthy, chiefly among them Ortiz and Lester, who finds himself staring down cancer at 22. Love to see both of them back next year, in or out of uniform, happy and healthy. Back to my happy place.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:19 AM on September 04

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